Dan Loeb pledged another $1 million to charter schools at an event last month as first reported by Michelle Celarier of NYPost. His message-- people who have taken issue with his support of educational reforms, hint American Federation of Teachers, can take their business elsewhere.
Dan Loeb, famous for his stingy remarks aimed at company directors he wants to never see again, has zeroed in on American Federation of Teachers, finally. While this was expected after he was put on a black/watch list by the union, he had not been this clear in his stance as he is now.
Dan Loeb Raises Donation
Speaking to a select audience that included the likes of Paul Tudor Jones, Paul Singer and David Tepper, all of whom are fellow black listers, Dan Loeb said he is raising his donation to Success Academy Charter Schools from $2 million to $3 million. Loeb showed his generous side while he was at a fundraiser for the non profit organization in Manhattan's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, reports Braun and Gordon for Bloomberg.
Dan Loeb's new target is AFT's President Randi Weingarten, at the event he was quoted as saying, “Some of you in this room have come under attack for supporting charter-school education reform and freedom in general,”. And when Loeb gets angry at someone, we all know what happens. Weingarten has asked Loeb to clarify his position on defined benefit pension plans and why he is sitting on the board of an organization that is trying to "trying to kill teachers' retirement benefits."
Loeb initially boggled everyone, when back in April, he protested against his inclusion in the list with a vehement denial, "I have never taken a position against DB Plans nor has any philanthropic organization I lead." This was clearly a convoluted response as Loeb serves as the director of StudentsFirst NY and also happens to be one of its founders. It seems he has finally realized that being on the blacklist is an honor and he should not get defensive about it.
He said in an interview to Bloomberg that AFT's actions had doubled his efforts to provide education to children in need. Loeb has been a supporter of charter schools and according to him the union is trying to sabotage his and others' efforts to change education policy to focus on children. AFT is also not in favor of charter schools, which Loeb thinks is their actual rift with him.
AFT released a list of hedge fund bigwigs that have indirectly opposed defined benefit pension plans for retirees by supporting or serving executive roles in other organizations who oppose DB plans and have campaigned for reforms in the pension system. These "evil" hedge funds have supported Manhattan Institute, StudentsFirst, ShowMe Institute, all of which have supported alternatives like defined contribution plans in their agendas. All pension funds are the major source of inflows for these hedge funds, and AFT is irritated that the hedgies take their money and then go against their agendas, how dare they?
On the other end Cliff Asness of AQR Capital has responded most cooperatively to AFT's allegations, he has decided not to renew his position on Manhattan Institute's BoD when it expires at the end of the year. Others have also caved, Thomas McWilliams partner at Court Square Capital resigned from the organization last month.
So who wants Loeb, Tepper, Tudor, Singer and Icahn to team up and take all their guns out on AFT?